> contain a thesis/central argument (see Writing a Thesis),> engage Ali Rattansi’s Racism: A Very Short Introduction AND films, and discussion forums to support your argument> Use one source not assigned for this unit. This may be an article, book, or news report. Your source should be from a recognized academic press or main stream news source.> reflect an understanding of change over time and across space.> Your essay should also consider the implications of the historical processes in question on myriad and diverse groups of people in order to recognize that we do not all experience things in similar or equal ways.
racism__a_very_short_introduction.pdf

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Racism: A Very Short Introduction
Very Short Introductions available now:
AFRICAN HISTORY John Parker
and Richard Rathbone
ANARCHISM Colin Ward
ANCIENT EGYPT Ian Shaw
ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Julia Annas
ANCIENT WARFARE
Harry Sidebottom
ANGLICANISM Mark Chapman
THE ANGLO-SAXON AGE
John Blair
ANIMAL RIGHTS David DeGrazia
ARCHAEOLOGY Paul Bahn
ARCHITECTURE
Andrew Ballantyne
ARISTOTLE Jonathan Barnes
ART HISTORY Dana Arnold
ART THEORY Cynthia Freeland
THE HISTORY OF
ASTRONOMY Michael Hoskin
Atheism Julian Baggini
Augustine Henry Chadwick
BARTHES Jonathan Culler
THE BIBLE John Riches
THE BRAIN Michael O’Shea
BRITISH POLITICS
Anthony Wright
Buddha Michael Carrithers
BUDDHISM Damien Keown
BUDDHIST ETHICS
Damien Keown
CAPITALISM James Fulcher
THE CELTS Barry Cunliffe
CHAOS Leonard Smith
CHOICE THEORY
Michael Allingham
CHRISTIAN ART Beth Williamson
CHRISTIANITY Linda Woodhead
CLASSICS Mary Beard and
John Henderson
CLAUSEWITZ Michael Howard
THE COLD WAR Robert McMahon
CONSCIOUSNESS Susan Blackmore
CONTEMPORARY ART
Julian Stallabrass
Continental Philosophy
Simon Critchley
COSMOLOGY Peter Coles
THE CRUSADES
Christopher Tyerman
CRYPTOGRAPHY
Fred Piper and Sean Murphy
DADA AND SURREALISM
David Hopkins
Darwin Jonathan Howard
THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS
Timothy Lim
Democracy Bernard Crick
DESCARTES Tom Sorell
DESIGN John Heskett
DINOSAURS David Norman
DREAMING J. Allan Hobson
DRUGS Leslie Iversen
THE EARTH Martin Redfern
ECONOMICS Partha Dasgupta
EGYPTIAN MYTH Geraldine Pinch
EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY
BRITAIN Paul Langford
THE ELEMENTS Philip Ball
EMOTION Dylan Evans
EMPIRE Stephen Howe
ENGELS Terrell Carver
Ethics Simon Blackburn
The European Union
John Pinder
EVOLUTION
Brian and Deborah Charlesworth
EXISTENTIALISM Thomas Flynn
FASCISM Kevin Passmore
FEMINISM Margaret Walters
THE FIRST WORLD WAR
Michael Howard
FOSSILS Keith Thomson
FOUCAULT Gary Gutting
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
William Doyle
FREE WILL Thomas Pink
Freud Anthony Storr
FUNDAMENTALISM
Malise Ruthven
Galileo Stillman Drake
Gandhi Bhikhu Parekh
GLOBAL CATASTROPHES
Bill McGuire
GLOBALIZATION Manfred Steger
GLOBAL WARMING Mark Maslin
HABERMAS
James Gordon Finlayson
HEGEL Peter Singer
HEIDEGGER Michael Inwood
HIEROGLYPHS Penelope Wilson
HINDUISM Kim Knott
HISTORY John H. Arnold
HOBBES Richard Tuck
HUMAN EVOLUTION
Bernard Wood
HUME A. J. Ayer
IDEOLOGY Michael Freeden
Indian Philosophy
Sue Hamilton
Intelligence Ian J. Deary
INTERNATIONAL
MIGRATION Khalid Koser
ISLAM Malise Ruthven
JOURNALISM Ian Hargreaves
JUDAISM Norman Solomon
Jung Anthony Stevens
KAFKA Ritchie Robertson
KANT Roger Scruton
KIERKEGAARD Patrick Gardiner
THE KORAN Michael Cook
LINGUISTICS Peter Matthews
LITERARY THEORY
Jonathan Culler
LOCKE John Dunn
LOGIC Graham Priest
MACHIAVELLI Quentin Skinner
THE MARQUIS DE SADE
John Phillips
MARX Peter Singer
MATHEMATICS Timothy Gowers
MEDICAL ETHICS Tony Hope
MEDIEVAL BRITAIN
John Gillingham and
Ralph A. Griffiths
MODERN ART David Cottington
MODERN IRELAND
Senia Pašeta
MOLECULES Philip Ball
MUSIC Nicholas Cook
Myth Robert A. Segal
NATIONALISM Steven Grosby
NEWTON Robert Iliffe
NIETZSCHE Michael Tanner
NINETEENTH-CENTURY
BRITAIN Christopher Harvie and
H. C. G. Matthew
NORTHERN IRELAND
Marc Mulholland
PARTICLE PHYSICS Frank Close
paul E. P. Sanders
Philosophy Edward Craig
PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
Raymond Wacks
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Samir Okasha
PHOTOGRAPHY Steve Edwards
PLATO Julia Annas
POLITICS Kenneth Minogue
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
David Miller
POSTCOLONIALISM
Robert Young
POSTMODERNISM
Christopher Butler
POSTSTRUCTURALISM
Catherine Belsey
PREHISTORY Chris Gosden
PRESOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY
Catherine Osborne
Psychology Gillian Butler and
Freda McManus
PSYCHIATRY Tom Burns
QUANTUM THEORY
John Polkinghorne
RACISM Ali Rattansi
THE RENAISSANCE Jerry Brotton
RENAISSANCE ART
Geraldine A. Johnson
ROMAN BRITAIN Peter Salway
THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Christopher Kelly
ROUSSEAU Robert Wokler
RUSSELL A. C. Grayling
RUSSIAN LITERATURE
Catriona Kelly
THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
S. A. Smith
SCHIZOPHRENIA
Chris Frith and Eve Johnstone
SCHOPENHAUER
Christopher Janaway
SHAKESPEARE
Germaine Greer
SIKHISM Eleanor Nesbitt
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL
ANTHROPOLOGY
John Monaghan and Peter Just
SOCIALISM Michael Newman
SOCIOLOGY Steve Bruce
Socrates C. C. W. Taylor
THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
Helen Graham
SPINOZA Roger Scruton
STUART BRITAIN John Morrill
TERRORISM
Charles Townshend
THEOLOGY David F. Ford
THE HISTORY OF TIME
Leofranc Holford-Strevens
TRAGEDY Adrian Poole
THE TUDORS John Guy
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
BRITAIN Kenneth O. Morgan
THE VIKINGS Julian D. Richards
Wittgenstein A. C. Grayling
WORLD MUSIC Philip Bohlman
THE WORLD TRADE
ORGANIZATION
Amrita Narlikar
Available soon:
1066 George Garnett
ANTISEMITISM Steven Beller
CITIZENSHIP Richard Bellamy
CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY
Helen Morales
EXPRESSIONISM
Katerina Reed-Tsocha
GEOPOLITICS Klaus Dodds
GERMAN LITERATURE
Nicholas Boyle
HUMAN RIGHTS
Andrew Clapham
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Paul Wilkinson
MEMORY Jonathan Foster
MODERN CHINA
Rana Mitter
SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Thomas Dixon
TYPOGRAPHY Paul Luna
For more information visit our web site
www.oup.co.uk/general/vsi/
Ali Rattansi
RACISM
A Very Short Introduction
1
3
Great Clarendon Street, Oxford o x 2 6 d p
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.
It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship,
and education by publishing worldwide in
Oxford New York
Auckland Cape Town Dar es Salaam Hong Kong Karachi
Kuala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi
New Delhi Shanghai Taipei Toronto
With offices in
Argentina Austria Brazil Chile Czech Republic France Greece
Guatemala Hungary Italy Japan Poland Portugal Singapore
South Korea Switzerland Thailand Turkey Ukraine Vietnam
Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press
in the UK and in certain other countries
Published in the United States
by Oxford University Press Inc., New York
© Ali Rattansi 2007
The moral rights of the author have been asserted
Database right Oxford University Press (maker)
First published as a Very Short Introduction 2007
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means,
without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press,
or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate
reprographics rights organizations. Enquiries concerning reproduction
outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department,
Oxford University Press, at the address above
You must not circulate this book in any other binding or cover
and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Data available
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Data available
Typeset by RefineCatch Ltd, Bungay, Suffolk
Printed in Great Britain by
Ashford Colour Press Ltd, Gosport, Hampshire
ISBN
978–0–19–280590–4
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
Contents
Acknowledgements x
List of illustrations xi
Introduction
1
2
3
1
Racism and racists: some conundrums 4
Fear of the dark?: blacks, Jews, and barbarians 13
Beyond the pale: scientific racism, the nation, and the
politics of colour
4
5
6
7
Imperialism, eugenics, and the Holocaust 45
The case against scientific racism 69
New racisms? 86
Racist identities: ambivalence, contradiction, and
commitment
8
20
114
Beyond institutional racism: ‘race’, class, and gender in the
USA and Britain 132
Conclusions: prospects for a post-racial future 161
References
175
Further reading 178
Index 183
For Shobhna
Acknowledgements
This book would have been difficult to complete without the
generosity of friends and family. Discussions with Avtar Brah, Phil
Cohen, Jagdish Gundara, Maxine Molyneux, and Bhikhu Parekh
have been a constant source of stimulation and support. My brother
Aziz brought his acute intelligence to bear on many of the issues
discussed here and gave up much time to enable me to write. Sisters
Parin and Zubeida and my mother Nurbanu have been unfailingly
encouraging. And Shobhna’s love and help have been simply
indispensable. I am deeply grateful to them all.
List of illustrations
1
Linnaean types
26
© 2006 Fotomas/Topfoto.co.uk
2 Classical Greek profile
juxtaposed with those
of Negro and ape
29
BIUM, Paris/Museum Images
3 A ‘Hottentot Venus’
4 Steatopygia in an
Italian prostitute
34
35
5 Anti-Irish cartoon
40
© 2006 HIP/Topfoto.co.uk
6 Equating blacks and
Irish
41
7 Gossages’ Magical
Soap
53
8 Nazi propaganda
58
Courtesy of US Holocaust
Memorial Museum
The publisher and the author apologize for any errors or omissions
in the above list. If contacted they will be pleased to rectify these at
the earliest opportunity.
This page intentionally left blank
Introduction
‘An important subject about which clear thinking is generally
avoided.’
(Ashley Montagu, Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of
Race, 1954)
A reader expecting easy, cut and dried answers to the questions of
what is racism, how it developed, and why it stubbornly continues
to survive may be disappointed. But deservedly so. These are large,
complex, and contentious issues. Racism is not easy to define, for
reasons that will become clear. Short, tight definitions mislead,
although in some contexts they are unavoidable. Even in a short
book of this kind – perhaps especially in a book that might expect a
wide readership – the question of racism requires relatively
sophisticated treatment. Brevity and accessibility are not good
enough excuses for oversimplification. Although racism is a
multidimensional phenomenon, it has suffered from formulaic and
clichéd thinking from all sides of the political spectrum.
Professional social scientists and historians have been as liable to
succumb to the seductions of oversimplification as political activists
seeking to mobilize their various constituencies.
My research and writing in this area have been particularly
concerned to move discussions of racism away from over-hasty
definitions, lazy generalizations, and sloppy analysis. In particular,
1
it is my view that public and academic debates should move away
from simplistic attempts to divide racism from non-racism and
racists from non-racists. At the risk of exaggeration, I would suggest
that one of the main impediments to progress in understanding
racism has been the willingness of all involved to propose short,
supposedly water-tight definitions of racism and to identify quickly
and with more or less complete certainty who is really racist and
who is not.
Racism
Later in the book, I will discuss a number of definitions, including
the disastrously confused and unworkable formula popular with
many anti-racists: ‘Prejudice + Power = Racism’. I will also argue
that the idea of institutional racism has outlived its usefulness.
This book, despite being only a very short introduction, is an
attempt to present a more nuanced understanding. It also differs
from most other introductions to the subject by treating antiSemitism and anti-Irish sentiments as important elements of any
account of racism, and does not assume that racism is simply a
property of white cultures and individuals. And it gives due
recognition to the fact that racism has always been bound up with
a myriad other divisions, especially those of class and gender.
Of course, I have not diluted the many brutal and painful realities
that the subject forces us to confront. Millions have died as a result
of explicitly racist acts. The injuries and injustices perpetrated in its
name continue.
However, most people are nowadays liable to disavow racism.
Indeed, the concept of race, as we shall see, has been subject to
comprehensive critique within the biological sciences. In the wake
of the defeat of Nazism, a great many nation-states have put in place
legislative, political, and educative measures to combat racism.
Some have introduced programmes such as ‘positive action’ and
‘affirmative action’ to undo the effects of past racial discrimination.
In its turn, this has provoked a backlash, but which denies any racist
2
intent. On the contrary, the affirmative and positive action
programmes have themselves been accused of racism, albeit in
reverse.
Confusion abounds. Many accused of racism respond with the
argument that their actions and aspirations are to do with
patriotism, or that their claims revolve around matters of ethnic or
national culture, not race. To which others add the view that
everyone is racist.
But contrary to the common-sense belief that the stranger or
outsider inevitably provokes what the French philosopher PierreAndre Taguieff calls ‘heterophobia’, or negative evaluation of the
different, the historical and anthropological evidence suggests that
outsiders and strangers are not inevitably subjected to hostility.
Empathy, curiosity, tolerance, dialogue, and co-operation are
human traits that are as common as hostility and prejudice.
Outsiders are not automatically feared or hated; they are as likely to
be admired, found sexually attractive, to provoke ambivalence, or be
envied (as we shall see). And nothing akin to the modern idea of
race has been a human universal.
This subject is a minefield indeed. I hope that the reader will
emerge a great deal clearer about ways of moving beyond present
confusions and unproductive polarizations of position around
questions of race and racism.
3
Introduction
However, it is important to bear in mind a distinction between
general ‘prejudice’ and racism properly so-called. That is, no one
doubts that humans have always lived in groups and that these
collectivities have had some sense of common belonging. The sense
of belonging has usually been defined by language, territory, and
other markers, which have been used to draw boundaries around
the group. They have thus also served to define outsiders and
strangers.
Chapter 1
Racism and racists:
some conundrums
The term ‘racism’ was coined in the 1930s, primarily as a response
to the Nazi project of making Germany judenrein, or ‘clean of Jews’.
The Nazis were in no doubt that Jews were a distinct race and posed
a threat to the Aryan race to which authentic Germans supposedly
belonged.
With hindsight, it is possible to see that many of the dilemmas that
have accompanied the proliferation of the notion of racism were
present from the beginning. The idea that Jews were a distinct race
was given currency by Nazi racial science. But before that, there was
little consensus that Jews were a distinct race. Does that make it
inappropriate to describe the long-standing hostility to Jews in
Christian Europe as racist? Or is it the case that racism has to be
seen as a broader phenomenon that has long been part of human
history? Indeed, that it is part of ‘human nature’, and does not
necessarily require technical or scientifically sanctioned definitions
of ‘race’ to be identified as racism?
After all, it can be argued that the Nazi project was only one stage in
a very long history of anti-Semitism. And that anti-Semitism is one
of the oldest racisms, indeed the ‘longest hatred’, as it has been
called.
However, complications immediately arise. The term
4
‘anti-Semitism’ only came into being in the late 1870s, when the
German Wilhelm Marr used it to characterize his anti-Jewish
movement, the Anti-Semitic League, and he used it specifically to
differentiate his project from earlier, more diffuse forms of
Christian anti-Judaism, more popularly known as Judenhass, or
‘Jew hatred’. His was a self-conscious racism that required that Jews
be defined as a distinct race. And ‘Anti-Semitism’ had the advantage
of sounding like a new, scientific concept separate from simple
religious bigotry.
Was Marr justified in insisting on distinguishing his version of
anti-Jewishness from other historical forms? Is racism properly
so-called something totally distinct from the hostility that many
would argue is a universal form of suspicion of all ‘strangers’ and
those who have distinct cultural identities? It is after all not
uncommon to hear the view that Jews have been particularly prone
to victimization because of their own attempts to retain a distinct
identity and their refusal to assimilate (one version of the so-called
‘Jewish problem’), a type of argument that is often used against
other ethnic minorities in European nation-states.
The underlying logic of this sort of viewpoint is that racism is
simply part of a continuum that includes, at one end, perfectly
understandable and benign collective identifications that are
essential for the survival of all cultural groups. At the other end, the
5
Racism and racists: some conundrums
Thus, the key assertion of his little book was that Semitic racial
(that is, biological) traits were systematically associated with Jewish
character (their culture and behaviour). Jews, according to Marr,
could not help but be materialistic and scheming, and these traits
meant an inevitable clash with German racial culture, which could
not be anything but idealistic and generous. Marr entitled his
pamphlet The Victory of the Jews over the Germans, because he
thought that German racial characteristics meant that Germans
would be unable to resist being completely overwhelmed by Jewish
cunning. He blamed his own loss of a job on Jewish influence.
Holocaust and other genocides are therefore to be regarded as
unfortunate but inevitable episodes, varying in superficial ways but
united by an essential similarity stemming from the very nature of
humans as biological and cultural beings who live only in groups,
are held together by common feelings of identity, and are thus
impelled to maintain their collective identities.
Racism
Also, the idea of making the German nation judenrein seems close
to the notion that has now come to be called ‘ethnic cleansing’. But
is all ‘ethnic cleansing’ racist? Or is there something distinctive
about racist acts of hatred, expulsion, and violence? In which case,
how exactly are we to distinguish between hostility based on
ethnicity and that based on race? What is the difference between an
ethnic group and a race? To put it somewhat differently, but making
the same point, should we distinguish between ethnocentrism and
racism?
It is clear that even the briefest inquiry into the meaning of the term
‘racism’ throws up a number of perplexing questions and various
cognate terms – ethnicity and ethnocentrism; nation, nationalism
and xenophobia; hostility to ‘outsiders’ and ‘strangers’, or
heterophobia; and so forth – which require clarification.
There is a further issue that derives from the example of Nazism
with which I began. Who exactly is to count as Jewish against whom
anti-Semitism could be officially sanctioned? Is there an
unambiguous definition? Talmudic law and the immigration
policies of the Israeli state accept only those who have Jewish
mothers as authentic Jews. This is a strictly biological definition. In
Nazi Germany, one had to have three Jewish grandparents to be
classified unambiguously as a Jew. Those who were one-fourth and
sometimes even half-Jewish could be allowed to be considered to be
German citizens provided they did not practise Judaism or marry
Jews or other part-Jews. In the absence of clear biological evidence,
a cultural practice, commitment to Judaism, functioned as a racial
marker.
6
It has come to light recently that men of partial Jewish descent,
Mischlinge in Nazi terminology, were allowed with Hitler’s explicit
permission to serve in the German armed forces during the Second
World War. Even more surprisingly, in the postwar period some of
these Mischlinge went to Israel and served in the Israeli army.
But who is to count as ‘black’? The history of US debates and
legislation reveals consistent difficulties in defining the black
population …
Purchase answer to see full
attachment